'MyDifference'

We want you to read this in first person: "This is my difference, the impact I have by investing in students through Lipscomb University!" In fact, this is your difference! Nearly 90 percent of students at Lipscomb University receive some form of financial aid, and most of those receive the kind of assistance that makes a Lipscomb education possible when it might not be otherwise. Because of your generosity, you help to create the unique Lipscomb experience and make Lipscomb accessible to hundreds of students each year. We are grateful that of all the opportunities you have to express your philanthropy, you choose to invest in students through Lipscomb University. 

Philanthropy rescues a lifelong dream

“I took my first steps at Lipscomb, on this campus, when I was about ten months old.”

Katie Markham is a fourth-generation student at Lipscomb University, following in the distant footsteps of her great-grandfather, who attended in 1917. Her youth-minister father was instrumental in starting Lipscomb’s summer “Impact” spiritual formation experiences for teens, and it was during the first of the 21 she’s attended that Katie learned to walk.

Just a few years later, Katie already knew she wanted to be a teacher when she grew up.

“I had a lot of influential teachers in my own life through middle school and high school, as early on as elementary school. They inspired me,” Katie said.

So with nearly 100 years of family connections, annual visits to campus and a deep interest in becoming a teacher, Lipscomb was her dream college – but the dream almost didn’t come true.

“My father’s a youth minister, my mom’s a nurse and we don’t have spare money laying around growing on trees to grab at. My parents were willing to make it possible but it was going to be a hard road,” Katie said. “It was a little scary, thinking that I might not be able to come to this dream school of mine.”

A host of donors came to her rescue through the endowed Johnston-Foster Education Fund and the annually funded Scholarship for Children of Church of Christ Ministers and Educators.

“Those two scholarships aided me immensely in my dream to come here. It made it an attainable dream. It made it possible for me and I was so excited when I learned I had gotten to receive those,” Katie said.

Because of those scholarships she is enrolled in Lipscomb’s nationally recognized teacher-education program, which she says is “just fabulous.”

“I have to work hard to get the grades that I do and keep up with my scholarships and my GPA,” she said. “It’s also preparing me in ways, not just academically, but in my spiritual life.”

She plans to teach middle school, where students will learn at the feet of a well-prepared and highly motivated teacher. They will also be part of the legacy of the donors who made Lipscomb possible for her.

This article first appeared in the Endowment Report to Donors 2016.

Generosity opens the door to Christian Education

Israel Muñoz Salvador was five years old when he and his mother left their native Mexico for a new home in the United States. Israel’s father had been working in the Nashville area, and it was time to reunite the family.

He grew to consider Nashville his hometown and the U.S. as his country – so much so that after he turned 18, he became a U.S. citizen.

“I’ve really appreciated what the U.S. has done for me and so I thought that one of the things I could do for the U.S. was becoming a citizen and that really was an accomplishment for me,” Israel said.

At the same time, he was thinking about where to go to college. Having grown up in a Christian home, attending a Christian college was his goal and Lipscomb University soon arrived at the top of his list.

“I searched for Christian universities [online] and then I looked at the universities that were close to home. I came to visit Lipscomb and I really felt that sense of community here, and so that’s what made me choose Lipscomb,” he said.

Choosing and enrolling can be different challenges, and working through the application process as the first member of his family to go to college was one hurdle to overcome. The next big challenge was financial.

 “I love Lipscomb but it can be a little expensive,” Israel said, smiling. “Lipscomb gave me the Durwood Conner and the Golden Circle scholarships, which really did benefit my family because without those scholarships, it would be impossible for me to be sitting in classes and doing the stuff I love.”

Israel says Lipscomb has been what he hoped it would be in his search for a Christian university, but that he has found it to be even more.

“My grandparents are pastors in Mexico, of several churches down there, and so the Christian faith for me has been absolutely important and integral for my life. So when it came time to choose a college, I absolutely knew I wanted a Christian education and that’s absolutely what I found here at Lipscomb.


Trevor, Junior, Nashville, TNKelly, Sophomore, Knoxville, Tenn.Lorena, Junior, Zagreb, CroatiaAngad, Sophomore, India

“I knew I always wanted to go to college, even though no one else in my family has a college degree.

“When I met my admissions recruiter, Jessica Duty, I knew I was going to come to Lipscomb. She believed in me when no one else did, and I felt like she genuinely cared about me and wanted me here.

I grew up in the Church of Christ and wanted that type of influence in my education. I did not have the financial resources to attend Lipscomb, so I also work in the student call center to help pay for school. I would not be here without the assistance of scholarships.”

Emmaja -- Class of 2016
Nashville, TN

“I chose to attend college because I want a better future for myself.  

“None of my family members have completed a four-year college degree, and I want to break that curse as well as provide a better future for my life.

“I specifically chose Lipscomb because it is a private, Christian school, and I knew I could start a new life surrounded by people who have the same goal as me, which is to live under HIS name.

“My family did not believe that I could afford to attend Lipscomb and they pushed me to choose a cheaper college, but I knew Lipscomb was the best way to go.”

Jamal -- Class of 2016
LaVergne, TN

“When I first visited Lipscomb, I loved the atmosphere; everyone was so nice.

“The teachers really seem to care about me, and the Christian environment is really important to me. Paying for college has been a significant challenge, and without my scholarships, I would not have been able to afford to come to Lipscomb.

“Even though I struggle to balance the demands of school while holding down a job to help pay for my school, I hold onto my dream of becoming a physical therapist.”

Michelle -- Class of 2013
Greenbrier, TN

“Proverbs 3:13 reads ‘Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding.’

“For me to hold true to this verse, I knew I would have to grasp and comprehend understanding through learning and education. If I want to excel in understanding, I must continue to go higher in my education. I knew choosing to go to a private Christian college would present some financial challenges. I put my trust in God; when it is his will, it’s his bill!

“Thanks to scholarships I am able to pursue my dream of majoring in social work. After graduation I would like to work with Hospice and my dream is to start my own non-profit to serve women who are starting over after being incarcerated or have been victims of human trafficking.”

Reisha -- Class of 2014
Mt. Juliet, TN

“My family did not encourage me to go to college, but I chose to attend because I wanted to change the situation I was in and create a better life for myself. 

“Overcoming the adversity I faced in choosing to come to college and pay for it myself is what keeps me motivated to keep striving to be better and finish my degree. Without the assistance of scholarships, I would not be able to afford the cost of a Lipscomb education.

“I chose Lipscomb because I felt it was a place for me to grow as an individual and grow spiritually while receiving a quality education.”

Janelle -- Class of 2015
Chicago, IL

“My parents did not attend college, and they encouraged me to make more of  myself. I knew I wanted to go to a Christian university because I wanted a great education taught by professors with similar morals and values to me.  Living in the dorms with students who are Christians is an amazing experience!

“I have had to overcome significant financial hurdles to attend Lipscomb. It actually came down to one last scholarship, and I needed to score one point higher on the ACT.  A family who is very supportive of my education drove me from south Georgia to Lipscomb’s campus so I could take the ACT. I waited for the results and was so ecstatic when I received word I had qualified for the additional scholarship money.

“My faith in God and the friends have I have made at Lipscomb keep me motivated to complete my degree.”

Jerry -- Class of 2016
Statenville, GA

“Lipscomb sent me a postcard offering a great scholarship.

“When I came for a visit, I loved that it was a small private Christian college with a close-knit environment. It’s really the perfect fit for me, and now I can’t imagine myself anywhere else.

“Coming to Lipscomb was a challenge. Most of the people in my hometown don’t go on to college, especially girls. I was concerned about what people in my community would think about me going to a private college so far away and how I would afford a private education. However, the scholarships I received definitely made this exciting opportunity possible. My desire to become a nurse and serve others is what keeps me motivated to complete my degree.”

Nicole -- Class of 2016
Parkville, MO

“My church introduced me to Lipscomb through Impact.

“Throughout high school, I participated in many events held on Lipscomb’s campus and knew the campus atmosphere was amazing! Most importantly I loved that it was Church of Christ based, to keep that stability around me while I am in college.

“Without the help of scholarships, I would not have been able to attend Lipscomb. I wanted to be here so badly that I have chosen to live off campus to save money even though I don’t own a car. I know that having a college degree, which will enable me to fulfill my dream of becoming a pharmacist, will be greater than the present struggles.”

Kaylen -- Class of 2016
Nashville, TN

“I gave my life to God at the age of 14, converting from Buddhism to Christianity.

“I always knew I would go to college and I knew I wanted to attend a Christian school. As the only Christian in my family, it was difficult to tell my family, who are Buddhist, that I was going to a Christian University.

“Having to pay for college myself has also been a significant challenge. I am working two to three jobs to pay for my education, and without scholarships there is no way I could afford to go to Lipscomb. I plan on becoming a teacher through Teach for America at inner city high schools. Knowing I can provide for my family and possibly make a difference in a teenager’s life is what keeps me motivated to complete my degree despite the financial challenges.“

Taylor -- Class of 2015
Knoxville, TN

“I always knew I would attend college because I value education and love to learn.

I chose Lipscomb for the wonderful Christian environment and knowing that I would have people around me who share the same faith as me and can help me grow spiritually.

“Without the help of scholarships I would not have been able to attend Lipscomb. I am grateful to have the blessing of receiving that support. My goal in life is to serve others, and one way I plan to serve is by becoming a pharmacist. I plan to apply for Pharmacy school when I graduate.”

Shaman -- Class of 2014
Tehran, Iran

“I chose Lipscomb because it felt like home, and it just felt right.

Not only did Lipscomb feel right, but it also was the best choice financially. My twin brother also chose to attend Lipscomb, so my parents are faced with paying for college for both of us simultaneously on a minister’s income.

“I am motivated to complete my degree because I know the difference a college degree can make in my future. I want to better my life so that I can go on to help other people."

Zach -- Class of 2016
Memphis, TN